Where does the time go? The Lake Worth ReggaeFest, Bryant Park’s Little Reggae Festival That Could, is now in its fifteenth year. And in a move fitting for its longevity, the festival has now added an extra day. That’s right; if you’ve attended previous year’s editions and are accustomed to the Saturday afternoon kickoff, this year you could be attending the ReggaeFest right now instead of just reading about it. But since you’re here anyway, here are some of the highlights:
An Earlier Start: As mentioned above, this year’s festival has already begun, with a DJ (probably not the “toasting” type) at 5:00 p.m, followed by local band Ras Kokay & Rythmadix, who should be onstage now if the schedule holds. Later this evening (at 8:30), Miami artist Bradley Brown, who has opened for such acts as Dennis Brown, Culture and Gregory Isaacs, will take the stage.
California Fusion: SoCal reggae/rock outfit Dirty Heads is the headliner for Saturday night (at 8:30). The Orange County band has toured with artists such as 311 and Matisyahu; their 2008 independent debut, Any Port In A Storm, spawned a single “Lay Me Down” which spent eleven weeks at No. 1 in Billboard’s Alternative Chart, garnering them a shout-out from Rolling Stone as one of the best new bands of that year.
Ernie Smith’s Offspring: The Marley family isn’t the only reggae clan with multiple generations. Self-described “Big Band Reggae” outfit The Resolvers is fronted by Ojay and Sahara Smith, whose songwriting father Ernie Smith was a reggae pioneer. The band also features a horn section, and has toured with other 2nd-generation reggae artists such as Stephen and Julian Marley.
Third World: From a musicianship point-of-view, it doesn’t get better than this in reggae music. Right from their start in the mid-70s, this legendary band was considered to have some of the best musicians in reggae, as evidenced by their selection to back Bob Marley on the recording of “Keep On Moving”. Hits such as “Now That We’ve Found Love” (later covered by rapper Heavy D) and “Try Jah Love” have endeared them to music fans in Jamaica and around the world, so don’t miss a golden opportunity to see one of the greatest bands that reggae has ever produced.
… and don’t forget the after-parties: Even after the festival is over, some of Palm Beach’s best reggae band can be heard at the after-parties being held at Lake-Worth hipster venue Propaganda . Check out Spred The Dub this evening and the horn-driven ska of The Hard Richards Saturday night.
For more information on ReggaeFest, go to the festival’s website